Resilience: Coping with the Winter Blues

Resilience: Coping with the Winter Blues

Resilience: Coping with the Winter Blues 1920 1080 The Conscious Professional

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”- Edith Sitwel

Winter, especially the part of the season that falls after December, can be tough. Not much is going on socially, the whole year stretches sometimes intimidatingly ahead of you, and, of course, it’s cold out.

One thing in our favour is that we’ve gotten pretty good at coping when trapped indoors with not much going on over the last few years. That being said… Winter will always come with its unique brand of ‘the glums’. So, here are a few ideas to help you get through the coldest and greyest of Winter days…


1. Don’t Avoid the Outdoors

Winter, especially on those days that are bitterly cold, dripping wet or blowing a gale, makes us want to stay indoors. To curl up and hibernate. This is an excellent idea. For resilience in the Winter, burying yourself in comfort and warmth is of utmost importance. However, it does not do well to ignore the outdoors entirely.

Fresh air and daylight are more of a rarity in the winter months. Although the anticipation of going outside is not the most fun, getting out and appreciating the outside world will do wonders for your mood and resilience. And if you don’t like it, well, at least you have your nice warm home to look forward to at the end of your walk.

2. Comfort Food

The beginning of the year is a great time to set some goals. However, if one of your goals is to eat ‘better’, and you are making efforts to get back on top of your diet, Winter can be a tough time to do it. Yes, your body benefits from vibrant and nutritious food, but sometimes your body and your emotions would most benefit from whatever food makes you feel content.

Of course, control is important. But don’t deny yourself all the time. Whether it’s a stew, some chips, a pie, a cake, a pizza or a steaming bowl of pasta… comfort yourself with your happy food.


3. Make Plans

As mentioned a little while ago, the beginning of the year can be a bit barren socially. It is easier to find drive and resilience when there are enjoyable activities on the horizon. So, make some plans. Even if those plans are months away, get some dates in the diary to see your favourite people.

4. Seize the Opportunity to Sort Your Home Out

If you are the sort of person that gets down when you are not actively doing something, then the inactivity of hunkering down in the Winter is probably helping to fuel your blues.

A day often feels like a good day if we have accomplished something productive. So, use Winter to get a few things in order at home. Jobs big and small… unless you sorted your entire home out in lockdown of course!

Some home sorting activities might include; deep cleaning your kitchen, sorting through your wardrobe and having a purge, painting rooms that are looking a bit tired, dealing with paperwork, hanging pictures, rearranging furniture or ‘sorting’ cupboards.


5. Don’t Bully Yourself Over Inactivity

On the other hand, you should not make yourself feel guilty for not being active or productive. Winter can be hard. Don’t add pressure on top of yourself for not having completed your ‘to do’ list today. If you need to be still and have some time to yourself… if that is what your body is asking for… then you should take it.

6. Call Someone

If you are feeling lonely but don’t want to go out in the cold, chances are that there are plenty of other people out there feeling exactly the same way. We are in an age where we don’t really do phone calls anymore. That being said, I found myself scheduling quite a few catch-ups over the phone during the last few years.

Arrange a time to call, make yourself a lovely drink, and pass an hour or two checking in with an old friend. We may think phone calls ‘old fashioned, but the fact that we can speak to anyone in the world in real-time is still quite miraculous in the grand scheme of the history of man! Be old fashioned. Pick up the phone.


By Chris Thomson


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